So, I’ve never used touring plans before and I just want to get an idea of how accurate I can expect the plans to be with times. It seems crazy that it has us going during a busy week and that we can do what we want with very minimal waits. Is this accurate in your experience? How do you compensate if the times are off and you get behind? Skip something to stay on track? Sorry, I am new and this just seems too good to be true!
I would say they are very accurate but you might get different responses from those who are more seasoned Disney visitors!
We roughly followed our TP last year and ended up with time to spare and went on a few extra rides. I set our walking pace to “very relaxed” and also factored in some extra break time. (For example, I know we can inhale lunch in 20 minutes but I scheduled our lunch break for 45 mins.) I would rather have extra time to account for the unknowns (extra bathroom breaks, meltdown breaks, extra time spent exploring a certain area, etc.).
We found them to be pretty accurate. Also set our walking time to relaxed and we don’t rush around. If we got too far off (because we stopped to do something else or a line was a bit longer) - we either re-optimized or decided to skip something if we wanted to.
With regard to getting off track and trying to get back on track, I found the most valuable thing I did on my trip last week was open my plan in the app and reoptimize after every ride. It may sound crazy, but for the entire week with crowd levels anywhere from 3 to 9, we only waited more than 20 minutes twice. Reoptimizing after every ride rearranged the order based on real wait times and saved us a ton of waiting.
I find that I use my TP as an overall plan. I do not spect to to be exact attraction by attraction but I can count on being on track after 2 hours. Some attractions are quicker, some stop for a few minutes - life happens.
I agree. I found the wait times for rides to be way off. For example when it told us the wait for jungle cruise would be 12 min and it was actually closer to 50. But somehow, the plan had us at the right place at the right time. I would look down at the plan and we would be where it said e would be right around the time it predicted. I found it helpful to have a general plan to follow but we were flexible with it. I wasn’t waiting for anything for longer than 30 minutes so we skipped some things but still had time with the plan to add them in later.
I use them as “plans”, not “schedules”. Historically they have worked very well for me - except for my last trip (when I DID try to use it as a “schedule”). The actual crowd levels were all 2-3 numbers higher than predicted by TP, so all of my actual waits were longer than on the TP. It was especially bad at MK. Still got to do 80% of what was on the plan, but it was much more stressful than I would have liked. And if a ride has "technical difficulties’ while you are waiting (happened 3 times at MK), things can get way off.
You said exactly what I was thinking.
Last January, when CLs were lower, we had a day and a half planned at MK, and got everything done on both plans within one day! Last October, when things were a little busier, some times were off, others were faster, but we still ended up ahead of schedule and got to ride extra rides, too! Both trips we also ended up being able to get extra FPPs after our first 3, which really helped.
I set it at “normal” for pace. And I always build in extra time for meals, and figured out that adding a 15 minute break on the TP one in the morning and one between lunch and dinner created a buffer that allowed for things to even out. We never optimize during the day, either. I suppose we could have squeezed in more by doing that, but I’m not sure.
The one thing we agreed on after both trips was this: the more detailed the plan going in, the easier it was to adjust on the fly or change our minds and do something spur of the moment. (“More detailed” includes lots of notes like… “on the way to Jungle Cruise” get 4th FPP for either SM or POC at the Adventureland Kiosk" or “if time, get picture with Donald in Mexico.”)